The Benefits and Pitfalls of Online Advertising

By August 29, 2017Featured


With more than 30% of global internet use now spent on social media, advertising on the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter is very tempting, with $35billion expected to be poured into this particular pot in 2017. A relatively small amount of money can see content reach literally thousands of people around the world: expanding your audience and driving business back to your organisation.

Sounds good, eh?

Unfortunately, with the rise of online advertising, there has been a rise in fake interactions, particularly on social media. In a world where the number of likes or follows your page has received can mean the difference between a user choosing your site over another, some unscrupulous account owners have taken to using ‘click farms’ to bolster their stats.

Click farms receive money to add likes and follows to identified pages or posts – something that’s against a whole variety of terms and conditions. An unfortunate side effect is that in order to try and hide the fact they’re fake, the click farms also interact with a variety of “normal” posts on the platforms.

As a consequence, completely innocent adverts can get caught up in a wake of fake interactions and the results can be bemusing to the advertiser: several thousand likes or follows, yet only a handful of views for each post. This isn’t growing a meaningful audience, and because providers like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all charge every time an ad appears, an advertising budget can be quickly used up.

So how do we get around this? Choosing to direct an ad campaign at a general audience can reach many thousands of people, but leaves you wide open to getting swept up with fake interactions. Don’t be afraid to be specific with your audience choice: be very targeted. This is one of the best ways to avoid the pitfalls and ensure your campaign still hits the right people.

At Indigo, we work hard to highlight who is important to your organisation, your key messages and how they’re delivered across all media. This includes social media content that helps keep your organisation on top of relevant events, and to deliver blogs and articles that keep your viewers informed and engaged.

The important thing is that they reach your viewers, without simply providing fodder for profiteers to line their pockets.

Sounds good.

Erith McKean is a Social Media Executive at Indigo.